Le HC Bienne a laissé passer sa chance de se hisser en demi-finale.

Ice hockey – Biel lost a series that should not have gone to the seventh game


Zurich had the last word in the 7th act of the quarter-finals against HC Biel (4-3 in the series). The Seelanders leave the play-offs with a lot of regrets.

HC Biel missed their chance to reach the semi-finals.

Martin Meienberger/freshfocus

HC Bienne left the play-offs with a head full of regrets, after a fourth defeat in the series against ZSC Lions (3-1). Regrets, more regrets for the Biel residents who knew full well that it was Saturday, on their ice rink when they were still leading 3-2 in the series, that they let slip their chance of reaching the semi-finals for the third time after 2018 and 2019. “This series should never have gone into seven matches,” railed Damien Brunner.

The HCB striker, author of a fiery regular season, blamed himself for having missed the opportunity to close the case before a seventh game which, statistically, almost never smiles on visitors. “Our power-play was a disaster. In even-strength play, we have often been the better team in all seven matches. But what good is it in the end when you are not able to seize your chance. We didn’t know how to win when we had to, Zurich qualified, so we can only blame ourselves.

“ZSC showed us that they are the most experienced in this kind of decisive match.”

Etienne Froidevaux, HC Bienne striker

Monday at the Hallenstadion, the ZSC Lions did not miss their chance in front of their public, quite the contrary to the Biel earlier in this series. They led 2-0, then 3-2 in the series, without ever managing to make a potentially decisive break, respectively to complete the accounts. “ZSC showed us that they are the most experienced in this kind of decisive match. The people of Zurich had more routine and experience than us as a team,” admitted Etienne Froidevaux. “The play-offs are often played on small things, and these are well known: special situations in particular, where we were unfortunately not up to it. We also lost way too many engagements. This elimination is hard to take, but it is part of learning for our group. I am convinced that before you can win and go all the way, you must first experience this kind of disappointment. We will now have this baggage for the future.”

The difference on goal for Törmänen

Dmitri Shikin lost his face to face with ZSC goalkeeper Jakub Kovar.

Dmitri Shikin lost his face to face with ZSC goalkeeper Jakub Kovar.

Martin Meienberger/freshfocus

HC Bienne made an impression in even-strength play throughout the series. But he lacked that little extra – powerplay, but also lucidity in key moments – to overcome the Zurich obstacle. For Antti Törmänen, the main difference was more between the posts than between the two ears. “Their goalkeeper, Jakub Kovar, was the decisive factor (note: 94, 25% saves in the series and shut out in acts III and IV), and on our side we could not count on such performances “, underlined the Finnish coach of the HCB. A way of saying that the Russian goalkeeper of his team, Dmitri Shikin (93.01% of saves in the series all the same), was not the hoped-for reinforcement in the play-off in the absence of the holder Joren van Pottelberghe, injured in the penultimate game of the regular season.

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